PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten and Chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs, hereby announces that in connection with the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the possibility and expected impact and the activation of the EOC, that there is the need to protect the population against price gouging. The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication has conducted and completed its review of the existing prices on the market as well as obtained the relevant information in order to establish the maximum prices on particular consumer goods. In particular, the adding of the new items in connection with the Coronavirus.
In light of the aforementioned, the Ministerial Regulation establishing the maximum prices on items required in connection with minimizing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be approved and established this week and will go into effect immediately thereafter until further notice.
Once approved, the list will be made available on the website of the government of St. Maarten: www.sintmaartengov.org
Details on the Ministerial Regulation
The Ministerial Regulation establishing the maximum prices on items in connection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) on St. Maarten includes items from the disaster list as well as the following, which have been deemed necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19):
- Latex and silicone gloves
- Hand sanitizer
- N95 masks
- Disinfecting wipes and sprays
- Rubbing alcohol (70%)
Given the volatility of global prices on the above-mentioned items, the intention is to review the list periodically with stakeholders to ensure that these essential items remain available to the population of St. Maarten as the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide.
Sellers will be forbidden from offering and selling the listed items higher than the maximum prices stipulated.
Monitoring & Control
The department of Control and Inspection of the Ministry of TEATT will be responsible for controlling the business community’s adherence to the established maximum prices.
The public is advised to contact the aforementioned department at 542-4511, if violations are found. Additionally, in order for the department to effectively address any violations, the public is asked when purchasing items from the list(s) to take a picture of the item and to request a receipt, which should include the price of the item, the date of purchase and the name and address of the business where the item was purchased.
Businesses owners who fail to adhere to the established maximum prices risk imprisonment for up to 4 years or a maximum fine of Naf 10,000, in accordance with article 8 of the Price Ordinance (“Landsverordening houdende regels op het gebied van de prijzen van goederen en diensten”).
Article 2, sub 1 and article 8 of the Price Ordinance (“Landsverordening houdende regels op het gebied van de prijzen van goederen en diensten”).
“The Government of St. Maarten is making every effort to safeguard consumers, and hereby encourages the business community to adhere to these regulations as key social partners. Businesses are also to ensure that safety and hygiene protocols are in place to protect their employees and clients as COVID-19 remains a world wide health challenge,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.